The Old Print Shop has a contemporary exhibit on view now, Clare Romano and John Ross: Collagraphs and Drawings of the Southwest. Clare and John met while studying at Cooper Union in the early 1940’s. They were married in 1943, just before John went to Italy during WWII. It is unusual for two married artists to have such highly acclaimed individual careers, but they have managed to make a name for themselves though their writing, printmaking technique, and art.
They wrote, published, and illustrated several books together, the first being Manhattan Island in 1957. One of the most important publications was The Complete Printmaker, published by Macmillan in 1972 and updated and reprinted for decades.
Both artists were professors at several colleges and universities over their careers. Clare Romano taught at the Art Center of Northern NJ from 1960-1965, New School University, NYC from 1960-1973, Pratt Graphics Center from 1963-1987, Pratt Institute from 1964-1991 and the Pratt Institute Summer Program in Venice, Italy from 1988-2007.
John Ross taught at New School for Social Research from 1957-2008, Manhattanville College from 1966-1986, Cooper Union from 1967-1969, and Columbia University from 1983-1984.
The process of collagraphy is particularly identified with John Ross and Clare Romano. Ross began making collagraphs while teaching printmaking for the U.S.I.A. in Romania in 1964. He was teaching etchings and drypoints when a shortage of zinc plates occurred. In a desperate bid for materials, he started working with cardboard and glue to replace the zinc plates.
To see more prints in the show, you can view them online here.